Offshore wind partners unveil large-scale green hydrogen and e-fuel project in Baltic Sea
The Sweden-based company OX2 and the Bank of Åland, who are jointly developing two multi-gigawatt-scale offshore wind farms in Finland, have initiated a feasibility study on Mega Grön Hamn (Mega Green Port), a project involving large-scale production and distribution of hydrogen and e-fuel in Åland.
The companies plan to establish the Mega Green Port at a site coexisting with the Port of Långnäs, deemed a suitable hub for their offshore wind projects Noatun North and South, which are planned to have a total generation capacity of 8 GW. According to the partners, Långnäs is an ideal location for construction activities on their offshore wind farms, electrical connections, as well as for the production and distribution of hydrogen and electrofuel (e-fuel).
The capacity requirement for Långnäs is estimated at 3 GW, which is the maximum size of the electrolyser, OX2 said in a press release on 3 February.
The feasibility study, which will last for twelve months, will bring a better understanding of the conditions around the proposed Långnäs Mega Green Port, both practical and technical, as well as of the financial factors.
“The purpose of our planned wind power projects is green energy transition and enabling the general public to participate via our mutual fund structure − but perhaps, above all, to create a new growth engine for the Åland business sector”, said Peter Wiklöf, Manager Director and Chief Executive of the Bank of Åland.
“The feasibility study for Långnäs as a Mega Green Port is an important step in understanding how Långnäs can play a key role in the future of the Åland business community, especially with reference to the growth of existing Åland companies and the establishment of new business operations”.
According to OX2, the project has an extra focus on the shipping segment and the establishment of new business operations in Åland, and is joined by representatives from the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, who will provide important knowledge about green e-fuel and port development.
“The global shipping industry is clamouring for green e-fuel on a large scale, which makes the timing of this feasibility study perfect. It needs to get started as soon as possible”, said Johan Byskov Svendsen, Programme Manager at the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping.
The two wind energy projects in the Baltic Sea waters offshore the Åland archipelago that OX2 and Ålandsbanken Fondbolag, the Bank of Åland’s mutual fund subsidiary, are developing – are among the biggest projects of this kind worldwide.
In November 2021, the two signed a letter of intent on the development of the project south of Åland, Noatun Syd, which will have 250 turbines and a total capacity of 3 GW.
In May last year, the partners extended their existing offshore wind cooperation agreement with another multi-gigawatt project off the Åland Islands, the 360-turbine Noatun Nord whose total capacity is planned to be 5 GW.
Along with offshore wind farms in the Åland maritime zone, the two Noatun projects also include a grid solution for the distribution of electricity to Åland, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia.
In September 2022, the two partners signed a binding agreement to develop the two offshore wind farms and started the analysis and environmental impact assessment work for the projects, after the Government of Åland issued permission for site investigations.
OX2 has several more offshore wind projects planned for the Finnish sector of the Baltic Sea.
But, more in line with this newly announced project in Åland is perhaps the Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector (BHC), a massive hydrogen infrastructure project of which OX2 is part as of December 2022.
In December 2022, OX2, the offshore wind developer Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), and the Finnish and Swedish gas transmission system operators (TSOs), Gasgrid Finland and Nordion Energi, signed an agreement to investigate the development of large-scale offshore hydrogen pipeline infrastructure connecting Finland, Sweden, and Central Europe.
The BHC project involves building offshore pipelines that will connect mainland Finland and Sweden with Åland and Germany by 2030.
Announcing the Mega Green Port, OX2 said the new port would also be a possible hub for the production and transport of hydrogen to the Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector.
CORRECTION NOTE: The headline was updated to state the project is planned for the Baltic Sea, instead of the Baltics.